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LB Barquell Rivers tears quad

With Virginai Tech's spring practices set to begin on March 31, the Hokies received some bad news on Wednesday when linebacker Barquell Rivers tore his quadriceps tendon during max-out weightlifting testing. He is expected to miss miss three to four months.

Rivers could undergo surgery as soon as Thursday and should be ready for the beginning of preseason practices in August. The injury was first reported on BeamerBall.com.

Rivers's absence from spring practices will slow the Hokies' development at a position where they need to stabilize. Virginia Tech will miss Cody Grimm, its leading tackler and a leader in 2009 before graduating in December, and now has a handful of raw athletes left among the corps of linebackers.

Rivers was a first-year starter last season and had 96 tackles, second on the team, including six and a half for a loss and a fumble recovery.

Rivers developed nicely as the 2009 season progress, but there was some questions about the linebackers playing along side him: Jake Johnson and Lyndell Gibson. Gibson replaced Johnson as the starter nine games into last season.

In addition to Grimm, Virginia Tech must replace six other defensive starters: ends Jason Worilds and Nekos Brown, tackle Cordarrow Thompson, cornerback Stephan Virgil, free safety Kam Chancellor and rover Dorian Porch, who was replaced as the starter for the final four games by junior Davon Morgan.

By Mark Viera  |  March 4, 2010; 10:15 AM ET
 
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